APNK Flickr and DigitalNZ
Over the years that APNK has been operating, we've taken a lot of photos. Thousands of them, actually. At last count there were over 4000 images uploaded to our Flickr account and all with Creative Commons licences. And they can now be found via DigitalNZ search.
Our photos are mostly of libraries, computers, librarians, customers and yes, the occasional cat.
The main reason behind taking photos when we install at a new library is a practical one. With over 150 sites in our network it's just not possible for our helpdesk staff to remember where in a particular library our equipment is installed. Being able to describe to a librarian over the phone exactly where their WAP is and what it's plugged into really helps with troubleshooting and solving problems remotely.
It's also just nice to see how and where the equipment that we work on in our office ends up. The APNK team rarely gets to see customers using our service in person so photos fill the gap. Similarly the helpdesk team might speak often to particular staff members at libraries but never see them in any context other than the photos that someone took on install day. Such is the nature of the service we provide.
Through our Flickr images we have a much better idea of the size and shape of the People's Network, as it is in the real world (and not just on network diagrams). Some libraries we work with are large, and some are tiny but they are all quite different from each other. As are the towns in which they're located.
Taken as a group our photos represent a really interesting view of what public libraries in New Zealand look like so we're really pleased that we could work with our National Library colleagues at DigitalNZ to make them more findable.
The bulk of our Flickr images are now harvested by DigitalNZ. We've still got a little bit of work to do with beefing up the metadata on some of them but nearly 2,500 images are there waiting for someone to find them and do something interesting with them like make a set of library cats, or signage, or interesting library sculpture.
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